US President Trump’s Middle East plan contradicts internationally agreed parameters for the Middle East peace process, relevant UN resolutions and the most fundamental principles of international law, say 50 former foreign ministers and leaders from across Europe in a joint statement. Eleven ECFR Council Members have also signed it. 

As Europeans dedicated to promoting international law, peace and security worldwide, we express our deep concern about President Trump’s Middle East plan, titled “Peace to Prosperity”.

The plan contradicts internationally agreed parameters for the Middle East peace process, relevant UN resolutions, including Security Council Resolution 2334, and the most fundamental principles of international law. Instead of promoting peace, it risks fuelling the conflict – at the expense of Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike and with grave implications for Jordan and the wider region. It has been met with widespread opposition in the region, in Europe and in the United States.

The plan allows for annexation of large and vital parts of the occupied Palestinian territory and legitimises and encourages illegal Israeli settlement activity. It recognises only one side’s claims to Jerusalem and offers no just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees. It projects a future Palestinian “state” without control and sovereignty over its fragmented territory. The map featured in the plan proposes Palestinian enclaves under permanent Israeli military control, which evoke chilling associations with South Africa’s bantustans.

“Peace to Prosperity” is not a roadmap to a viable two-state solution, nor to any other legitimate solution to the conflict. The plan envisages a formalisation of the current reality in the occupied Palestinian territory, in which two peoples are living side by side without equal rights. Such an outcome has characteristics similar to apartheid – a term we don’t use lightly.

The international community, particularly the European Union, must prevent such a scenario from unfolding, in order to preserve the dignity and rights of the Palestinians, the future of Israeli democracy and the wider international rules-based order.

We welcome the statement by EU High Representative Josep Borrell stressing the EU’s continued commitment to a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, in accordance with the international parameters. We fully agree with the EU that Israeli “steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged”, as they would impair the fundamental international norm banning the acquisition of territory by force.

Considering the urgency of the situation, we call on Europe to reject the US plan as a basis for negotiations and to take immediate and effective steps to counter the threat of annexation – and thereby preserve the international rules-based order.

 

Douglas Alexander, Former Minister of State for Europe and Secretary of State for International Development,
United Kingdom (ECFR Council Member)

Ben Bradshaw, Former Minister of State for the Middle East, United Kingdom

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister, Norway 

John Bruton, Former Prime Minister, Ireland (ECFR Council Member)

Micheline Calmy-Rey, Former Foreign Minister and President, Switzerland

Ingvar Carlsson, Former Prime Minister, Sweden

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, Poland

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Former Co-President of the European Greens-European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament, Germany

Joe Costello, Former Minister of State for Trade and Development and Chair of the European Affairs Committee, Ireland

Willy Claes, Former Foreign Minister and NATO Secretary General, Belgium

Massimo d’Alema, Former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, Italy 

Teresa Patrício de Gouveia, Former Foreign Minister, Portugal (ECFR Council Member)

Dominique de Villepin, Former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, France

Ruth Dreifuss, Former President, Switzerland 

Alan Duncan, Former Minister of State for Europe and the Americas and Minister of State for International Development, United Kingdom

Espen Barth Eide, Former Foreign Minister, Norway

Jan Eliasson, Former Foreign Minister and UN General Assembly President, Sweden 

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, Former Foreign Minister and President of the European Liberals, Denmark 

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Former Foreign Minister and European Commissioner for External Relations, Austria

Sigmar Gabriel, Former Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor, Germany (ECFR Council Member)

Peter Hain, Former Minister of State for the Middle East, United Kingdom

Lena Hjelm-Wallén, Former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Sweden

Trinidad Jiménez, Former Foreign Minister, Spain

Ivailo Kalfin, Former Foreign Minister, Bulgaria (ECFR Council member)

Tom Kitt, Former Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights, Ireland 

Bert Koenders, Former Foreign Minister, the Netherlands (ECFR Council Member)

Martin Liedegaard, Former Foreign Minister, Denmark

Mogens Lykketoft, Former Foreign Minister and UN General Assembly President, Denmark

Sven Mikser, Former Foreign Minister, Estonia

Per Stig Møller, Former Foreign Minister, Denmark

Holger K. Nielsen, Former Foreign Minister, Denmark

Andrzej Olechowski, Former Foreign Minister, Poland (ECFR Council Member)

Marc Otte, Former EU Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process, Belgium (ECFR Council Member)

Chris Patten, Former Vice-President of the European Commission, United Kingdom 

Hans-Gert Pöttering, Former President of the European Parliament, Germany 

Jacques Poos, Former Foreign Minister, Luxembourg

Vesna Pusić, Former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Croatia

Mary Robinson, Former President and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ireland

Jacques Santer, Former Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Luxembourg

Karel Schwarzenberg, Former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Czech Republic (ECFR Council Member)

Robert Serry, Former UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, the Netherlands

Javier Solana, Former Foreign Minister, NATO Secretary General and EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Spain (ECFR Council Member)

Michael Spindelegger, Former Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor, Austria

Jack Straw, Former Foreign Secretary, United Kingdom

Gareth Thomas, Former Minister of State for International Development, United Kingdom 

Erkki Tuomioja, Former Foreign Minister, Finland (ECFR Council Member)

Ivo Vajgl, Former Foreign Minister, Slovenia

Jozias van Aartsen, Former Foreign Minister, the Netherlands

Frank Vandenbroucke, Former Foreign Minister, Belgium

Hubert Védrine, Former Foreign Minister, France

Sayeeda Warsi, Former Cabinet Minister and Foreign Office Minister for the United Nations, Human Rights and the ICC, United Kingdom

 

A version of this letter was originally published in English by the Guardian here.

The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. This commentary, like all publications of the European Council on Foreign Relations, represents only the views of its authors.

Read more on: ECFR Council, The Middle East and North Africa, Israel / Palestine